Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar CIE (Bengali: ঈশ্বরচন্দ্র বিদ্যাসাগর Ishshor Chôndro Biddashagor 26 September 1820 – 29 July 1891), born Ishwar Chandra Bandopadhyay (Bengali: ঈশ্বরচন্দ্র বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়, Ishshor Chôndro Bôndopaddhae), was an Indian Bengali polymath and a key figure of the Bengal Renaissance. Vidyasagar was a philosopher, academic, educator, writer, translator, printer, publisher, entrepreneur, reformer, and philanthropist. His efforts to simplify and modernize Bengali prose were significant. He also rationalized and simplified the Bengali alphabet and type, which had remained unchanged since Charles Wilkins and Panchanan Karmakar had cut the first (wooden) Bengali type in 1780.
He received the title "Vidyasagar" (in sanskrit vidya means knowledge and sagar means ocean, i.e., Ocean of knowledge) from the Calcutta Sanskrit College (where he graduated), due to his excellent performance in Sanskrit studies and philosophy.
Ishwar Chandra was born to Thakurdas Bandyopadhyay and Bhagavati Devi at Birsingha village, in the Ghatal subdivision of Paschim Midnapore District, on 26 September 1820. At the age of 6 he went to Calcutta. In Calcutta (present day Kolkata), Ishwar started living in Bhagabat Charan's house in Burrabazar, where Thakurdas had already been staying for some years. Ishwar felt at ease amidst Bhagabat's large family and settled down comfortably in no time. Bhagabat's youngest daughter Raimoni's motherly and affectionate feelings towards Ishwar touched him deeply and had a strong influence on his later revolutionary work towards the upliftment of women's status in India.